One year (later), a video flipbook

Scroll to the bottom for the video, because why wait a moment longer?

Most of my creative pursuits seem to end up in a state of perpetual incompleteness, which is why it is such a pleasant surprise to me that, just this once, I completed something – and only fourteen months later than anticipated. From the time that I started this project on May 2, 2013, days before I closed the book on my TAPIF year, to the same day in 2014, I recorded a one second video clip each day.

A lot happened: I destroyed my computer, crossing my fingers as I salvaged months of shoulda-woulda-coulda been lost footage; I struggled with the limitations of iMovie, screamed at every spontaneous shutdown, made myself a snack each time it froze, and powered through clunky workarounds (365 times, no less). And that’s just the technical side of things! It says nothing of all the moments that actually made the days worth recording in the first place, from the exceptional (touring the falls at Plitvice) to the ordinary (time spent with friends).

A one-second clip on its own isn’t particularly interesting it turns out and it wasn’t until I strung together about sixty of them that I started to see anything at all. Half a dozen times I have tried to take a photo a day and I’ve never made it more than a week; to think I’d have a different experience with moving pictures (a medium with which I had much less practice) seemed like I was setting myself up for disappointment.

But I did it. Every day. Sometimes not until moments before the clock struck midnight, but I did it all the same. Not every day was photogenic, and there are way too many clips highlighting what I had to eat for dinner that night (like a horrible, foodie instagram come to life!), but it certainly paints an accurate portrait of the year. Even the bad stuff, like an angsty evening scribbling in a journal, and the aftermath of a bicycle accident, my worst injury to date.

If there is anything that I would want to change, though, it’s not any of the moments themselves, but rather how I captured them. In still photography, I am hopelessly shy about working with human subjects – friends or strangers, and while I was more confident when my images were moving, I could have pushed myself to invite more animate subjects into the frame.

But in the end, I really enjoyed the process of making my little film, and am so happy with the final result. I’m a better videographer for it! Most importantly, a big thank you to all who got in front of the camera; I always tried my best to make you look good (it was easy). Glad you’re in my life.

Let’s end the text before I get too nostalgic…I thought the point of a video was that I could avoid having to write! Oh well…I’m done! Action!


Xīn nián kuài lè!

Happy Lunar New Year!  I was able to participate in Seattle’s celebration this past Saturday, and it was as much fun as the last time I went, two years ago.  Back then my Chinese was a whole lot better, but the more I eavesdropped on people around me, the more I realized I still understand a lot!  Characters on the other hand…汉字太难了!我不记得很多的汉字。哎呀!Ai ya!

This time, when I arrived in the International District, the parade was headed right my way!  龙跳舞跳得很漂亮!After their little show they danced back up the street to the main stage where several acts were scheduled to perform…in fact, the same ones I’d seen two years ago!

There was a great turnout and relatively clear skies, so sometimes it was difficult to see the stage over the heads of brightly dressed toddlers sat upon their parents’ shoulders (“my neck hurts!” they cried).  But I managed to sneak my way through to the front by the time Kaze Daiko, a Seattle-based taiko group, was set to perform.  I really love seeing taiko drums played live.  It’s so theatrical and the sound is so powerful.  Most of the performers I recognized from two years ago, and it’s wonderful to see that they’ve kept up this hobby!

Come in from the cold

It turns out I know absolutely nothing about snow.  It kept on falling, unlike I had predicted, and my four-day-weekend somehow turned into a ten-day-weekend (not that I’m complaining).  As I tend to measure my productivity as the amount of time I don’t spend in my apartment watching 30 Rock, I had to adjust to being home-bound so much (again, not complaining).  But I wasn’t completely immune to cabin fever, so I usually ended up making that same walk to Greenlake for photos and coffee – bonus when your roommate comes along with you and takes your picture with snowmen!

I’ve also had a lot more time to sift through the huge folder sitting on my desktop and try out some new recipes.  The biggest success of the week was Mark Bittman’s minimalist ratatouille, which might just look like a lot of vegetables, but that’s because it is just a whole bunch of vegetables.  It was really fantastic and so, so flavorful I think I’ll be making it again this week.

And of course, if you’re going to have ratatouille, and if it is quite chilly outside, and if there is a bottle of red wine already sitting on the kitchen counter, then you must make vin chaud and watch Midnight in Paris.  It’s only sensible.

A study in sweets, pt. 5

My roommate, Britland, and I have a list on our fridge of all the important things we’d like to do before we graduate.  Naturally, it’s written on pink paper with a kitten sitting in an equally pink high-heeled shoe at the top.  We’ve been crossing things off the list, little by little (to be expanded upon later), and got around to checking off a very important milestone today…Trophy Cupcakes!

How I went three whole years without trying one, I’ll never know!  For me, a chocolate peanut butter cupcake, and for Britland, a salted caramel cupcake.  We collapsed on the couch in sugar comas, both very pleased (so delicious! the cupcakes!) and very disappointed with ourselves (so achy! our stomachs!).  But, we knew well our fate before we took our first bites.  And that knowledge certainly won’t be enough to keep up from stopping by another one or two times in the next couple of months!


It snowed today!  To call it a storm is a bit dramatic, but as the last time I’d seen any snow, it was stranding me in London last year, I allowed myself to get excited by the half of an inch dusting the pavement.  Couldn’t be bothered to make breakfast.  I hopped out of bed and slipped right down the street.

I walked over to Greenlake, slower than usual as I have no shoes suitable for slush.  Not many people were out walking around, but I happened upon quite a few confused ducks and a couple of snowmen, now muddy puddles on the grass, I’m sure.  The snow shouldn’t last too long, but it’s been fun getting to play in it and watch it fall from a coffee shop window.

Try and stay warm this weekend (my parents and all other Californians excluded, as they are all-too-thrilled to tell me how it has been 65 degrees for the past week)!